EP# 80 Reborn Dolls & The Use of Social Sciences: This Month on TFS 

The Familiar Strange · EP# 80 Reborn Dolls & The Use of Social Sciences: This Month on TFS This week we’re diving into the world of Reborn dolls and celebrating Social Sciences week! Familiar Stranger Carolyn kicks us off by giving us an introduction into the world of reborn dolls, or dolls that have been … Continue reading EP# 80 Reborn Dolls & The Use of Social Sciences: This Month on TFS 

Breath-taking

Himalayan travelogues are full of stories. For the most part, those stories fall into a specific genre, one that I tend to refer to as “my magical adventure in an exotic land.” Mustang, especially, has this reputation. In fact, multiple coffee table books easily available from booksellers everywhere pay homage to the “Lost Kingdom of Tibet,” the “Lost World of Lo,” and the “real Shangri-La.” Unfortunately, these books and pamphlets on high altitude travel are equally full of popular orientalist tropes of “pure” cultures and “innocent” people who somehow exist “out of time” despite being just as familiar with and a part of the “modern” world as anyone else is. But the impetus to see Mustang (and the Himalayas generally) as “magical” place filled with “spiritual” people is a hard one to resist. Most especially because the illusion is not just conjured up by Euro-American travel agencies or National Geographic specials but by Nepalis and Tibetans themselves, many of whom rely on the trekking and tourism industry for their livelihoods in a land politically marginalized between China, Kathmandu, and India.

Ep# 79 A Journey to the West: Nicholas Ng on the Music of the Teochew Diaspora in Western Sydney

The Familiar Strange · Ep# 79 A Journey to the West: Nicholas Ng on the Music of the Teochew Diaspora in Western Sydney We're back this week with familiar stranger Jarrod's first interview! For this episode, Jarrod sits down with Dr Nicholas Ng, from the Institute for Australian and Chinese Arts and Culture, and Institute … Continue reading Ep# 79 A Journey to the West: Nicholas Ng on the Music of the Teochew Diaspora in Western Sydney

Jathilan Dance: Experiencing the Spirits

yelling, crawling and rolling. Later, they begin to show some animal-like behavior: hissing, roaring and moving on all fours. This is my fieldwork. The place is Java, the Special Region of Yogyakarta. Pawang is a kind of ritual specialist believed to be capable of controlling animals, spirits, and other invisible forces. But more commonly, or so it seems, pawangs apply their powers in controlling possession or inducing and then ending the state of trance during jathilan dance. This dance is the focus of my attention. And this research is my second shot at trying to have an academic career. I came a long way: from the field as abstract as the history of Western philosophy and the land as distant as Russia. Running away from minimal wages, long teaching hours, and impossibly high expectations about presenting and publishing, I found my new passion as far away from the notions of enlightened modernity or cynical postmodernity as possible.